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EventCity hosted the Roller Derby World Cup 2018, helping put the emerging sport on the map

If roller derby is not exactly on your radar, you’d be forgiven. However, the game has achieved cult status in the UK, with a passionate fan-base that bring a real sense of drama and intensity to the high-impact, high-paced sport.

Roller derby made a comeback in the early 2000s as an all-female, woman-organised amateur sport, with US state Texas leading the charge, and many European countries following behind.

The sport, which proudly embraces its grassroots appeal and LGBT contingent, revels in its outsider status. However, with a dim chance roller sports could be included in an upcoming Olympic Games, it could yet reach mass audiences.

Currently, roller derby is played by around 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, nearly half of them outside the United States.

The game is played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction (counter-clockwise) around a track. Game play consists of a series of short match ups (jams) in which both teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.

The teams attempt to hinder the opposing jammer while assisting their own jammer—in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously.

The Roller Derby World Cup is an international women’s roller derby tournament which is currently organised by the Roller Derby World Cup Committee.

Teams of elite skaters from around the world compete for their respective nations in hopes of winning the world cup.

The event has no formal organiser, and is put together by Roller Derby directly, through members of Roller Derby teams throughout the UK.

Interview: Roller Derby spokesperson

What was the purpose and goal of this event?

The purpose was to successfully host the 3rd Roller Derby World Cup. As an international sport, it was crucial that the event was held in an international city, with easy transport links, easy access and accommodation facilities for the 38 teams and international visitors who would come to watch.

In addition, we needed a large and flexible space that would accommodate our four oval competing tracks.

As there were 38 countries competing we needed to have the floor and seating space that would allow the games to commence at the same time and allow our visitors to move easily from one track to another.

Did you have any issues in the run up, or during your event that the team at EventCity assisted with? If so, can you provide us with some information, and the solutions to any issues?

We needed a flat and even floor for the event, as Roller Derby is played on the floor as opposed to tracks.

In order to ensure that this was safe and even for the athletes, the EventCity team worked alongside the organisers to ensure that the floor was safe and fit for purpose.

Why was the venue was selected over others?

The venue was chosen due to the size of the space available and its flexibility to accommodate both our large visitor numbers and the four competing tracks for the teams.

The concrete floor at the venue was a bonus, given the athletes like to play on gritty floor surfaces as this provides traction for the skates and improves grip to the floor.

Additionally, the location of the venue was ideal given its proximity to both the international airport, train station and breadth of accommodation in the surrounding area.

What are your overall thoughts on the success of event? Do any particular moments that stand out?

The event has been a great success and our visitor numbers have surpassed our expectations. EventCity, Manchester has been a great host and the team have been so supportive from concept to completion – nothing is too much trouble. This is the best venue we have ever worked with.

The Mayor of Trafford, Jonathan Coupe also attended the Roller Derby World Cup and opened the first game between Indigenous vs. Italy.

He spoke to the EventCity team, saying: “Hosting the Roller Derby World Cup for the athletes across the world is an honour and privilege for the Trafford and Manchester area. The sport itself is new and exciting for many in the UK. Hosting this event will put The Roller Derby and Trafford on the map.” AAA